The Week

Mando, one of the last four tree-sitters to come down last week, talks to reporters during a Wednesday morning press conference.
By Richard Brenneman
Mando, one of the last four tree-sitters to come down last week, talks to reporters during a Wednesday morning press conference.
 

News

In Busy Night, Council Tackles Condominium Conversion, Wood Smoke, And Recreation Fees

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday September 24, 2008 - 03:03:00 PM

It was a busy, eclectic night at Berkeley City Hall Tuesday, with the Berkeley City Council moving forward on a range of issues, including changing the city’s condominium conversion mitigation fees, establishing citizen nuisance wood smoke abatement procedures, and raising recreation fees. -more-


Community Crime Meeting Reveals Sharp Tensions

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday September 24, 2008 - 01:11:00 PM

Beneath the heated rhetoric and sharp divisions, one fact emerged from a Monday night meeting between Berkeley police, city officials and residents: The desire for a police force that is engaged with the community on a day-to-day basis. -more-


Berkeley Thai Temple to Ask ZAB to Allow Year-Round Sunday Brunch

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday September 23, 2008 - 02:16:00 PM

Wat Mongkolratanaram will be back Thursday at the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board meeting to request a use permit modification which will allow the 33-year old Buddhist temple to serve its disputed yet exceedingly popular Sunday brunch throughout the year. -more-


Off-Campus Hazing Escalates at Berkeley High

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday September 22, 2008 - 09:21:00 PM

It’s called the case of the “Freshman Fridays” at Berkeley High: Seniors tossing eggs at ninth-graders when they leave school or sports practice, sometimes hitting them in the face. -more-


Two More Shootings Near Site of Double Homicide

By Bay City News
Friday September 19, 2008 - 10:36:00 PM

Berkeley police are conducting extra patrols in a south Berkeley neighborhood where there have been two more shooting incidents after two men were shot to death early Thursday, Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said tonight. -more-


UC Berkeley Drive Seeks $3 Billion

By Richard Brenneman
Friday September 19, 2008 - 04:01:00 PM

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau kicked off the public phase of a $3 billion fund-raising drive Friday, seeking funds for scholarships, campus improvements, faculty salaries, research—and $600 million for buildings. -more-


Commissioners Add Two New High-Rises To Downtown Plan Environmental Study

By Richard Brenneman
Friday September 19, 2008 - 01:32:00 PM

Berkeley Planning Commission members, missing two of their most outspoken dissenters Wednesday night, boosted by 50 percent the number of 120-foot buildings to be included in the environmental study for the new downtown plan. -more-


Two Die in Midnight Shootings; Victims from Berkeley, Oakland

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 11:08:00 AM

Two men died in a blaze of gunfire on Derby Street early Thursday which left a 26-year-old Berkeley man dead along the curb and a 45-year-old Oakland man behind the wheel of his crashed car. -more-


Tree-Sitters Recall Battle Over Grove

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:18:00 AM

Berkeley tree-sitters and their supporters returned Wednesday morning to the site of their 648-day vigil to reflect on their ultimately doomed battle to save the grove. -more-


Civil Rights, Liberties Challenged by Long Haul Raid, Say Lawyers

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:17:00 AM

Lawyers representing two civil liberties groups are preparing to wage a legal battle over the Long Haul raid, and other constitutional rights groups are paying close attention. -more-


Cyber-Stalking of UC Animal Researcher Cited As Rationale for Raid

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:17:00 AM

UC Berkeley police, joined by federal and county law enforcement, raided the Long Haul Infoshop Aug. 27 in search of the source of threats to university researchers who experiment on animals. -more-


California Hotel Residents Fight to Save Their Home

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:19:00 AM

On June 20, the residents of the California Hotel in Oakland received notice that they would be required to vacate the building by July 15. The 250 residents, many disabled, some with families, all low-income, were given three weeks’ notice that they would have to find new affordable housing. -more-


Proposed Laws Regarding Noise, Sidewalks Spark Fears Of First Amendment Abuse

By Judith Scherr
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:20:00 AM

Some two dozen people, including street preachers, homeless advocates and union activists, came to Tuesday’s Berkeley City Council meeting, the first of the 2008-2009 session, to condemn proposed noise and use-of-sidewalks laws they said would limit free speech. -more-


UC Shuts Down CampusLink’s Free Public Internet Access

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:22:00 AM

UC Berkeley’s CampusLink computer terminals, which provide free public Internet access at the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union across from Sproul Plaza, were abruptly shut down by the university, CampusLink officials said Wednesday. -more-


Berkeley Sea Scouts Leader Gets 6 Years for Misconduct

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:22:00 AM

Eugene Evans, the Berkeley Sea Scouts leader convicted of two counts of child molestation in July, was sentenced to a total of six years in state prison by an Alameda County Superior Court judge on Tuesday. -more-


School Board Approves Plan to Sell Hillside School

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:23:00 AM

The Berkeley Board of Education last week unanimously approved a plan to put the historic Hillside School at 1581 Le Roy Ave. up for sale. -more-


Berkeley School Employees Rally for New Contract

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:23:00 AM

Workers marched from Berkeley Technology Academy to school district headquarters last week to demand contract renewals and pay raises. -more-


$15 Million West Campus Rehab For BUSD Headquarters Gets OK

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:23:00 AM

West Campus neighbors won a major victory last week when the Berkeley Board of Education approved plans to rehabilitate the former Berkeley Adult School building on Bonar Street in order to relocate Berkeley Unified School District’s headquarters from the seismically unsafe Old City Hall at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. -more-


Zoning Board Demands Gaia Building Cultural Events Within Six Months

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:25:00 AM

When is a cultural event not a cultural event? That seemed to be the dilemma the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board grappled with last week at a public meeting while reviewing whether the Gaia Building—now owned by real estate magnate and Tribune Co. proprietor Samuel Zell—was violating its use permit. -more-


Nadel Says Violence Diminished in Wake of Raids

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:26:00 AM

Oakland City Councilmember Nancy Nadel says that she was “very concerned” about charges made by Nation of Islam Oakland Mosque Minister Keith Muhammad about problems with this summer’s Oakland police “Operation Nutcracker” raids of the Acorn Housing Project, but says that police officials have assured her that the raids were properly conducted and have had the desired result. -more-


Dellums Administration Rolls Out Public Safety Strategy to Skeptical Community

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:26:00 AM

The administration of Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums introduced its long-awaited public safety strategy to selected members of the Oakland public last week to a pointedly skeptical reaction, outlining an ambitious program in which each of Oakland’s neighborhoods would be organized for citizen participation, work on local public safety problems would be filtered through area public safety coordinating councils made up of city officials, police representatives, and neighborhood groups, and a citywide public safety policy council would oversee city goals and strategies. -more-


Both Sides Claim Victory in Lab Long Range Plan Lawsuit

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM

Both sides were claiming victory in a legal battle over Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s long range plans for building 980,000 square feet of new construction by 2026. -more-


Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM

Weekend fire demolishes Berkeley hills home -more-


Fall Series of Historical Walking Tours Starts Saturday

By Steven Finacom Special to the Planet
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:30:00 AM
	Individual tours cost $8 for members of the Berkeley Historical Society; nonmembers pay $10. Members can also purchase a “season pass” to all the tours for $30. You can join BHS and sign up for the discounted tours at the same time.
                	For reservations call 848-0181 and leave your contact information, the dates of the tours you’d like to attend, and the number of tickets you would like for each tour. The tours tend to fill up, so it is important to have reservations. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be informed of the starting point for each tour you’re attending.
                	The Claremont, north hills, and Nut Hill walks traverse in hilly terrain and, in some cases, off street paths, and may not be suitable for those in wheelchairs.

Noted Berkeley neighborhoods, prominent parks and schools, and architectural masterpieces—both secular and spiritual—are all featured during the fall 2008 Berkeley Historical Walking Tour series, which begins Saturday, Sept. 27. -more-


Correction

Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:24:00 AM

An item in the Sept. 4 Police Blotter incorrectly reported the location of a shooting. A shooting on the 2900 block of Sacramento Street on Sept. 2 did not occur at Johnson’s House of Style but at another address on that block. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Election Fever and the All-Alaska Pig Races

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:33:00 AM

On Sunday we took our grandkids to the Santa Cruz county fair in Watsonville, a cornucopia of old-fashioned delights and some new ones too. The animals proudly displayed by the 4-H club members who raised them are hands-down favorites, especially the competition for dressed-up goats, perhaps a unique specialty found only in Watsonville. It inevitably reminded some of the adults in the group of the recent lipstick-on-a-pig discussions in the national political arena. If you put a tutu on a goat, does that make her a ballerina, or is that a sexist question aimed at poking fun at Sarah Palin? -more-


Cartoons

Arnold's Club

By Justin DeFreitas
Friday September 19, 2008 - 08:56:00 AM

Scandal in the Interior Department

By Justin DeFreitas
Friday September 19, 2008 - 08:55:00 AM

One-Way Wall Street

By Justin DeFreitas
Friday September 19, 2008 - 08:53:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:33:00 AM

BHA FLOUTING THE LAW? -more-


Letters to the Editor

Monday September 22, 2008 - 10:55:00 PM

Re-Thinking the Idea of Free Libraries

By Peter Klatt
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

I read Barbara Gilbert’s commentary (Sept. 11) with great interest and I second her opinions wholeheartedly. -more-


Hard Times Call for More Than Slick PR

By Sally Hindman
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:35:00 AM

This week our household received a slick and colorful PR brochure from Phil Kamlarz, our dear city manager, describing what Berkeley is doing to improve its infrastructure and how much the city cares about its residents (was that the upshot, I wasn’t quite sure). With all due respect (luv ya Phil, no offense) to the city manager’s office, and whoever conceptualized this mailing, a fancy brochure is not what our households need in these rough economic times. -more-


Yes on Measure FF and Why it Matters

By Terry Powell, Winston Burton and Amy Roth
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:35:00 AM

The City Council voted unanimously to put Measure FF on the ballot after reviewing the city’s report on the unacceptable state of Berkeley’s four branch libraries, which are seismically unsafe, cramped and in need of repair. They did so because time is of the essence. It is critical that we renovate all our branches to ensure they are safe, modern buildings that will serve our community now and into the future. We can’t afford to wait one more day. When it comes to public safety, there is no time to waste. -more-


Why the Democrats Always Lose

By Paul Glusman
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

Democrats always bring a knife to a gun fight. They believe that “the issues” should predominate in their campaigns (even though they often cave on them—see offshore drilling). Republicans always set up the same ambush, every four years, and the Democrats walk into it, like Charlie Brown kicking Lucy’s football. -more-


The Facts of Bus Rapid Transit

By Jim Bullock
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

Charles Siegel apparently put on green-tinted blinders before examining AC Transit’s BRT proposal and the arguments for measure KK (last week’s Daily Planet). With these blinders on, any proposal with “bus” in the title looks good, regardless of the cost or the projected benefits. With his blinders on, Mr. Siegel can’t see the difference between a $250 million boondoggle and a well-crafted proposal to improve rapid transit in the East Bay. I urge Mr. Siegel to take off his blinders and take a hard look at the current AC Transit proposals. If he does a thorough, clear-sighted assessment of what’s being proposed, I think he will come to the same conclusion that I have: BRT as proposed is a foolish waste of precious transit funds. -more-


Healing KPFA

By KPFA Staff
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

Thank you for your sober, detailed coverage of the police incident at KPFA (“Rough Arrest at KPFA Stuns Station, Community,” Sept. 4). -more-


A Response to False Claims About Measure KK

By Gale Garcia
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM

The “Friends of BRT,” whose membership soars into the single digits, are adroit at pulling the wool over their own eyes. Charles Siegel, one of the most ardent of the “Friends,” in his Sept. 11 commentary, makes a laundry list of false statements to attack the ballot argument for Measure KK. -more-


Is the Parens Patriae Power Dead at UC Berkeley?

By Sheila Holderness
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

I live on the 2600 block of Benvenue Avenue, southside of campus. Most students who cause hell in our neighborhood seem to be young men who think it their right to live here for their undergrad years and drink, dope, play loud music, dump their raw garbage on the sidewalk, have parties that spill onto the streets. Frequently, they are in an athletic program at Cal. -more-


Columns

Undercurrents: Awards for Worst Blogs, Column Items in East Bay

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:32:00 AM

Keith Olbermann’s Countdown has its Worst Person In The World award each night. Today we present the Worst Blog or Column Entry in the East Bay. -more-


The Public Eye: Fool Me Once, Fool Me Twice

By Bob Burnett
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM

A familiar American aphorism is “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” In 2000, Karl Rove convinced Americans that a relatively unknown Texas governor could be a competent president. In 2008, John McCain’s Rove, Steve Schmidt, argues that an even more obscure Alaska governor will make a credible vice president and likely 45th president. Are Americans about to be fooled again? -more-


The Soul of a New Museum: the Academy of Sciences

By Joe Eaton Special to the Panet
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM
Good, informative expositional display: Darwin’s finches.

Natural history writers don’t get a lot of perks. But the California Academy of Sciences, which reopens Sept. 27, did invite a bunch of us ink-stained wretches to a mid-afternoon buffet at the newly reconstituted museum in Golden Gate Park on Sunday (tasty microcheeseburgers, samosas, and chicken-on-a-stick) and let us wander among the exhibits, -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—On the Trail of Zimri Brewer Heywood’s Residence

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM
Known as the Heywood-Ghego House, this city landmark at 1809 Fourth St. was never owned or occupied by any Heywood.

Legendary lumberman Zimri Brewer Heywood (1803-1879) left behind many legends. Retracing his history through original 19th-century documents (see “Zimri Brewer Heywood: Separating Fact From Myth,” Sept. 4, 2008) reveals that while some of the oft-recounted stories have no basis in fact, there are others, largely unknown until now, that are just as absorbing as the myths. -more-


About the House: Living in Houses Made of Vegetables

By Matt Cantor
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:57:00 AM

I built my house from barley rice -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

THURSDAY, SEPT. 18 -more-


‘Before The Dream’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:44:00 AM

Richard Wright, the great African-American writer, whose novel Native Son (a deliberate black perspective to parallel Dreiser’s “Great American Novel,” An American Tragedy) and autobiographical book Black Boy have been taught in schools and colleges for generations, is featured at his centennial as the main character in Richard Talavera’s original play, Before the Dream: The Strange Death (and Life) of Richard Wright, staged by Oakland Public Theatre this weekend at the Noodle Factory in West Oakland, before a San Francisco run at Teatro de la Esperanza in the Mission District. -more-


Cal Shakes Stages the Bard’s ‘Twelfth Night’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:44:00 AM

“How have you made division of yourself?” Twelfth Night, or What You Will, now onstage outdoors at CalShakes’ Bruns Amphitheatre in Orinda, like other Bardic comedies, realizes some of its many confusions from love and some from questions of identity. -more-


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Announces Fall Program

By Ron Sullivan Special to the Planet
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

This might be better than AARP. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute has re-launched its Berkeley center in association with UC Berkeley. -more-


Berkeley Video and Film Festival Showcases the Indie Spirit

By Justin DeFreitas
Wednesday September 24, 2008 - 11:26:00 AM
The 17th annual Berkeley Video and Film Festival features its usual eclectic mix of independent cinema, from The Road to Bonneville, a documentary about hot rod racing in the salt flats of Utah, to George Aguilar’s virtual cinema-poems, with avatar Cecil Hervi roaming the world of Second Life, to California King, a simple tale of budding romance in a mattress showroom.

Time and time again we’ve seen the word “independent” co-opted by the very corporate forces the independents claim independence from: “indie” record labels engulfed by a corporate parent; “indie” film festivals that draw Hollywood’s A-List roster to remote Western boomtowns. -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—On the Trail of Zimri Brewer Heywood’s Residence

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM
Known as the Heywood-Ghego House, this city landmark at 1809 Fourth St. was never owned or occupied by any Heywood.

Legendary lumberman Zimri Brewer Heywood (1803-1879) left behind many legends. Retracing his history through original 19th-century documents (see “Zimri Brewer Heywood: Separating Fact From Myth,” Sept. 4, 2008) reveals that while some of the oft-recounted stories have no basis in fact, there are others, largely unknown until now, that are just as absorbing as the myths. -more-


About the House: Living in Houses Made of Vegetables

By Matt Cantor
Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:57:00 AM

I built my house from barley rice -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday September 18, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM

THURSDAY, SEPT. 18 -more-